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Al-Azhar undersecretary denounces French call to ‘freeze’ Quranic verses

Fri, Apr. 27, 2018
CAIRO - 27 April 2018: The proposal of 300 French imams to “freeze” Quranic verses is “unacceptable, unjustified, and indicate complete ignorance,” undersecretary of Al-Azhar Abbas Shouman said Thursday.

Said imams suggested that certain holy verses incite murder of non-Muslims, according to Le Monde newspaper in a Tuesday report.

“It is not Islam’s liability how others understand the verses... what they think are verses that call for their murder are in fact verses of peace. Verses on fight all appear in the framework of countering aggression if it occurred, rather than initiating it. This is a principle that is consensually agreed upon, even among [the said imams],” Shouman told reporters during the launch of Al-Azhar Festival for Creativity and Arts.

All religions and laws guarantee the right to self defense, and if Quran orders Muslims to arm themselves, that is to deter any enemy from an attack; hence perpetuating peace, Shouman explained.

The following are hadiths (sayings) by Prophet Mohamed on the subject, even one about Egyptian Christians in particular.

1 – “You would soon conquer Egypt and that is a land which is known (as the land of al-qirat). So when you conquer it, treat its inhabitants well. For there lies upon you the responsibility because of blood-tie or relationship of marriage (with them).”

Sahih Muslim Book 31, Hadith 6174 – Sunnah.com

The blood-tie refers to Hajar, the Egyptian wife of Prophet Abraham, who gave birth to Ismail. The marriage, as argued by many scholars, refers to Mariah the Copt, who was gifted to Prophet Mohamed by Muqawqis, the Christian ruler of Egypt at the time.

2 - "Whoever killed a Mu'ahid (a person who is granted the pledge of protection by the Muslims) shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of traveling).”

Source: Sahih Bukhari Vol. 9, Book 83, Hadith 49 – Sunnah.com

3 - "The protection granted by Muslims is one and must be respected by the humblest of them. And he who broke the covenant made by a Muslim, there is a curse of Allah, of his angels, and of the whole people upon him, and neither an obligatory act nor a supererogatory act would be accepted from him as recompense on the Day of Resurrection."

Sahih Muslim, Book 7, Hadith 3167 - Sunnah.com

4 - "Whoever wrongs one with whom a covenant has been made, burdens him with more than he can bear or forcibly takes something from him, I will be his adversary on the Day of Judgment," as narrated by Sawfan Ibn Sulaim through a number of the Companions' children [30 narrators according to the version of Ibn Zangawiyah and al-Baihaqi] who directly narrated from their fathers. [Recorded by Abu Dawud in his Sunan, Ibn Zangawiyah in Al-Amwal and al-Baihaqi in As-Sunan Al-Kubra] – Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta website.

Below are Quranic verses that affirm tolerance towards non-Muslims.

5 - “[w]hoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.”

(5:32 – Saheeh International translation)

6 - “And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason."

(6:151 - Saheeh International translation)

7 – “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong.”

(2:256 - Saheeh International translation)

8 – “And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.”

(8:61- Saheeh International translation)

9 – “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.”

(5:8 - Saheeh International translation)

10 – “Indeed, those who have believed [in Prophet Muhammad] and those [before Him] who were Jews or Sabeans or Christians - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.”

(5:69 - Saheeh International translation)

Many scholars argue that the verse above means that non-Muslims are not destined to hell.
 
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